Akron police release footage of Jayland Walker being shot up to 60 times
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Authorities on Sunday released shocking body camera footage of the fatal shooting of Black motorist Jayland Walker in a hail of bullets after Akron police say he fled a traffic stop last week.
The video shows multiple officers converge on the vehicle at the conclusion of a pursuit. Walker apparently exits the silver Buick in a ski mask, and Police Chief Stephen Mylett said it appeared that Walker reached toward his waist during a foot chase and briefly turned toward officers before they opened fire.
Mylett said the medical examiner found about 60 wounds on Walker's body, although the actual number of shots fired had not been determined.
The chief said that when the shooting stopped the officers immediately attempted to provide care to Walker, but that he died at the scene. Mylett said the eight officers directly involved in the shooting had been placed on administrative leave.
Video from the scene showed a gun on the front seat of Walker's car, and Mylett said video did appear to show the flash of a gun from Walker's car during the chase. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is conducting the investigation at the request of Akron police.
At a press conference Sunday, Mylett was asked if officers overreacted to the perceived threat.
"It was difficult to watch, and shocking," Mylett said, adding that "I'm not going to pass judgment" until the investigation is completed.
Mylett praised the Walker family for their call for peaceful demonstrations. Mayor Daniel Horrigan pleaded for calm and for patience while the investigation is taking place.
"The video is heartbreaking, it's hard to take in," Horrigan said.
The police department said it was releasing all footage of Monday's shooting, rather than just videos required by law within one week, after first showing the footage to Walker's family.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, and the FBI field office in Akron were "closely monitoring and reviewing the circumstances" surrounding Walker's death, the Justice Department said in a statement.
"The FBI continues to coordinate with state and local partners to provide resources and specialized skills," the statement added. "If the evidence reveals potential violations of federal criminal statutes, the Justice Department will take appropriate action.”
The city canceled it's Fourth of July Festival after the shooting, and the Akron chapter of the NAACP planned a march and rally downtown Sunday afternoon to coincide with the release of videos.
Bobby DiCello, an attorney for Walker's family, called the video "brutal."
"It's going to stir up some passion. It's going to make people uneasy," DiCello said ahead of the video's release.
WHAT WE KNOW:Akron police fatally shot Jayland Walker
Police said Walker, a 25-year-old DoorDash driver, refused to stop his car and fired at officers during a chase. Officers on the scene said Walker jumped out of his rolling vehicle and created a "deadly threat," leading officers to use stun guns, which failed, and then firearms.
Walker was found lying on his back while in handcuffs when a medical examiner arrived at the scene, according to an investigative worksheet for the case shown to the Beacon Journal at the medical examiner's office. Walker had been shot in the face, abdomen and upper legs, the report said, adding that a weapon was recovered from his vehicle.
Traffic camera video obtained by the Beacon Journal shows at least 10 police cruisers pursuing Walker's vehicle at one point during the chase.
The Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office said Walker died from multiple gunshot wounds and ruled it a homicide.
The shooting sparked several days of protest from racial justice advocates. It's the third fatal shooting by a police officer in six months in Akron. On Saturday afternoon, a crowd of more than 100 gathered outside the city courthouse and chanted, "No justice, no peace, prosecute the police."
"Jayland was a wonderful, wonderful young man," said Robert DeJournett, pastor at St. Ashworth Temple in Akron, who said he was a relative of Walker's.
"We just want everyone to know who Jayland was," Walker's aunt, Lajuana Walker-Dawkins, said. "We don't want him to be portrayed as some thug."
The city canceled it's Rib, White, & Blue Festival that had been scheduled to open Friday and run through the Fourth of July.
“I completely understand that some residents and guests will be disappointed by the decision to cancel the festival this holiday weekend," Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan said in a statement. "Unfortunately, I feel strongly that this is not the time for a city-led celebration."